And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
There’s some compliments that you never get used to receiving. It’s an amazing blessing to be invited to any wedding and such an honor to have the chance to be the camera in the room during some of the most intimate times in people’s lives, but there is really no compliment quite like being asked to shoot a little sister’s wedding. A little over 4 years ago, Melissa and I flew out to be a part of one of the most stunning events we’ve seen to this day. Kelly + Tommy’s wedding at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island not only raised the bar in how we shoot, but became a staple of the kind of work we could do. We were so honored to take a few iconic images that we still use for promotional material today as well as to have been asked to have our photos on the cover of New England Weddings Magazine. Safe to say, that wedding and the relationships we built at it meant a lot to us. Fast forward 4 long years and a few hundred weddings later and my phone lit up again with an Egler girl on the other side saying she was engaged. Caitlin left such an impression at Kelly’s wedding (as did all of their family) that we instantly remembered her beautiful smile and big laugh. This girl had been such an enormous part of her big sister’s wedding and when we found out that she had a ring on her finger, I couldn’t help but get excited at the opportunity to spend some more time with all of these amazing people.
If you’ve spent much time in New England you know the name Colgate. A pretty prestigious school, Colgate graduates are borderline religious about keeping their relationships tight. We’ve had the opportunity now to shoot several “Colgate Weddings”, and the one universal element seems to be that these people know how to party. So when we started the planning process with Caitlin and Jason, as well as catching up with her sweet parents - Terry and Allen, we were so excited to see a few other familiar names join the plans. One of the very best wedding planners in the country (True Events) was the event designer and coordinator for Kelly’s wedding a few years ago, as well as several other’s we’ve been a part of, so knowing that her team would be planning this one as well was a treat. Mix that with one of the most beautiful venues in Vermont - Riverside Farms - and we were instantly set up for a day full of beautiful photo opportunities.
There’s so many aspects of this wedding day that I would love to tell. So many little stories, like the way Cait cried when she read the note that Jason had written to his mom Karen. The moments where Kelly pulled out a photo of Cait as a 5 year old and proceeded to share her entire toast around how fun it has been to watch Cait grow up into the confident beauty she is today. All of the laughter during a ceremony full of less than serious moments, and of course, one of the most beautiful father daughter dances I’ve ever seen. The dinner was immaculate, the design, inspired. The florals were perfectly styled and even the weather seemed to have been ordered in at a perfect 75 degrees and partly cloudy. But the story here that I want to really tell is the story of these two as a couple.
I’ve obviously met Caitlin and Jason before the wedding weekend but I hadn’t really had a chance to focus on them as a couple before. About 2/3 of the way through the rehearsal dinner we asked Caitlin and Jason to head outside with us for a few minutes to get them used to how we like to shoot with couples and after the moment I said “don’t overthink it” I’m not sure I said another word. These are two people so comfortable with each other, and so radically happy to spend their lives together that whether they were in a rare (very) moment of quiet or bursting out laughing together (which was much more common) the sheer ability that they have to be completely relaxed together showed through in every photo. Caitlin is a pretty big personality. She’s the type of girl who you can tell in an instant will make an amazing mom and a sweet wife, but who also doesn’t need to find her identity in either of those. She’s beautiful; and styled; and kind; but perhaps above all very articulate. You know in an instant with Cait what she’s thinking and how she’s feeling - something that comes across in her confidence and her overall joy for life. Jason blew me away from the get go. We have the chance to work with grooms from all over the country and though a lot of guys are just a few degrees of separation away from each other when it comes to their wedding day, Jason started off a weekend all about him and his future wife wanting to know more about me. Asking about our new son and telling me that he travels near us in Arkansas frequently. I’m fairly sure we’ll be getting together for cocktails down south soon and I couldn’t be more excited to call him a friend.
This actual wedding day was unlike any we’ve ever had. Just a few weeks after having our son Beckham, Melissa wasn’t in a place where she could take off for the weekend to this event with me. We’re so blessed to have a team full of talent and Delyn of course was excited to hop on the plane with me for this adventure. What we couldn’t have predicted was the opportunity that we would have to share this entire wedding with the world as it was happening. Our amazing friends at Lowepro (shameless plug here for the best camera accessories I have ever used) gave us the keys to their Instagram account for the weekend and asked us to do something that had never been done through them before. Instagram a wedding weekend, about 2000 miles away from our office, live as it’s happening. Just the thought of how we would get images from the camera, to our phones and online was technical enough - let alone try and give them some kind of basic and fast editing and manage all of the social media challenges of explaining the photos and where we were going with this day. Mixing that into a 12 hour shooting day wasn’t easy - but the end result was one of the most visually captivating and beautiful stories we’ve ever shot. The key for us was shooting everything as perfect in camera as we could so that we didn’t need to rely on very much editing on the back end. It turns out that approach (that we try and use almost all of the time) allowed us to not only be successful with the Instagram takeover, but also with turning over this blog post in a hurry. 155 of our very favorite images, just 36 hours after the event finished - just in time for us to say Goodbye to New England and to the Lowepro followers on Instagram and thank you!
This entire wedding day was so special. From the light spilling through the windows behind Jason as he glanced up and saw Caitlin making her way down the aisle to him, to the way she took the time to laugh and smile at her dad during that same walk. From the “symetric dance move party” first thing in the morning, to the hours and hours of dancing in funny glasses along side her closest friends that night, every step of the way was exactly as it needed to be. I can’t give enough credit to this team of creatives who helps pull this beautiful event together and especially to the Eglers and the Obergs for asking us to be such a huge and honored part of this very important day. Also a super huge thank you to Lowepro for partnering with us on this event and trusting us to be capable over this huge challenge. Expect part two of this Instagram takeover to happen at another wedding next month in Brooklyn as we dig into a whole different look and feel to a destination wedding weekend.
Caitlin & Jason (Bride and Groom) , Kelly + Tommy (Maid of honor and past groom), Terry + Allen (Mother and Father of the bride), Karen + Jeff (Mother and Father of the groom), the “huge group of girls” (who I’m hoping will bring us back up to New England 19 more times), the most inappropriate groomsmen ever (who I wish I could hang out with once a week), the best event chef I’ve ever tasted food from (who gave us both the steak AND the chicken), and Sophie from Riverside Farm and Lowepro Bags - THANK YOU for this amazing weekend.